All Quiet on the Western Front

What is the significance of Remarque's introductory note to the book?

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Remarque's epigraph spells out in no uncertain words the major theme of his novel: war is brutal and it destroys even those who physically survive. However, he first claims the book is not an "accusation"; it seems doubtful that criticism will not accompany such a harsh view of war and of those who promote it.